I just bought a sailboat, I am new to this hobby. The kit (Kyosho Fairwind 900) asks for ballast. (1.7 kg) My hobby shop recommended using 12 gage pellets, the gun shop recommended using fishing sinks. What should I use. Should I insist and order ballast. Please help, I can’t wait to try my sailboat ! [:-basketball]

i have a victor kit australia II. the kit has a hollow shell that is to be filled with lead shot. i used bb shot. and lead tire wieght. the bbs will go right to the bottom of the keel, i know they are expensive but the only other option you have is to cast you lead. and if this is your first boat, buy the bb
long live the cup and cris dickson

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Hello Jacouille,

I am the Class Secretary for the Fairwind Class in the US.

Stay away from the fishing sinkers. They are too large and will not “pack” well down into the keel. The smaller the shot you can find, the better it will pack and the lower in the keel your weight will be. I used copper BBs for my boat. They are a little less dense than lead so my weight did not get as low in the boat. but the Boat still sails fine. I won the national championship with it last year.

If you plan to sail with an AMYA Fairwind fleet then you will need to conform to the class rules wich specify a minimum weight of 8 lbs. The boat sails amazingly equal anywhere in the 8 to 10 lb range, so you do not have to be too fussy on the final weight. but if you are worried about the final weight, you can under fill the keel and then wait until the boat is finished to top it off with the final ballast to get it up to 8.0 lbs.

You will probably want to use wood glue or white glue to hold the ballast into the keel. Be careful with epoxies. Epoxy glue exotherms as it cures (meaning it gives off heat) in the confined space of the keel, that can be enough heat to melt the plastic. I have heard stories of guys using epoxy (even cheap 5 minute stuff) and melting off their keel. The problem with the wood glue is that it takes a very long time to dry. You may even want to add it in in small batches allowing a day or so for each batch to dry before adding the next batch. It can take a week or more to dry if you add it all at once. This is why some guys use epoxy - becuase it will cure in a much shorter time and you will be able to hit the water sooner. If you do use epoxy, put the boat into a bathtub or some other water filled container. The water will keep the plastic cool enough that it will not melt.

If you plan on sailing your boat hard and competitively, then you may want to follow some of the building tips on this page:

In particular, the servo “tray” that Dennis has designed is 100% better than the one that comes with the kit. It is simple and will give you far fewer problems. I recommend that you build some sort of bulkhead to support the sidestays, but what Dennis uses is a bit overkill. A simple athwardship strut is probably sufficient. If you attach it to the compression strut, then you are going to be plenty solid and you will still have room to get you hand forward into the bow to make modifications or repairs in that area.

You also may want to leave off all the cosmetic stuff. If you want to include the scale details, go ahead, but all the little holes you put in the boat near the rubrail for the lifeline stantons will be crack starters if you get into collisions. I have seen boats only 5 or 6 years old that are covered with spiderweb cracks from these holes. If you leave them off, your boat will last a lot longer.

There are numerous other small things that you can do to make your boat sail a little better. The next issue of Model Yachting is featuring the Fairwind and there should be tons of tips in there on how to make your boat sail better. If you are not a member of the AMYA, now would be a great time to join so that you can get that issue.

I will gladly answer any other questions you have about building your boat. I’m going on vacation for a week after today so I will not be around next week. but after that, i will answer all your questions.

Good Luck and let us know how it turns out!

  • Will

Will Gorgen